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tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  November 11, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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>> charlie: welcome to the broadcast. tonight, people who look at the world in interesting ways. first stephen dubner and steve levitt of "super freakonomic fr >> in iran between public and private individuals people are compensated for an organ that's an idea here is is repugnant to people and what's worse, having a market that saves people's lives where people can choose to do something with a piece of their own body or depending on altruism and seeing people dying every year because no one's giving an organ. >> people made fun of me,
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cheating teachers and what a joke, i said i'm trying to hone the techniques because ultimately i may get a chance to catch terrorists or something more important. >> charlie: and malcolm gladwell's book is called "what the dog saw." >> it's a title of one of my favorite pieces about cesar milan and i started out thinking i should do it about what does cesar see when the looks at the dog. and i thought that's not the interesting question but what the dog sees when he looks at cesar and i thought of this wonderful -- a lot of the pieces are attempts to look at the world through the eyes of someone with a privileged position or knowledge or someing. >> charlie: supe super freakono and malcolm gladwell next.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: steve and and steeve wgbh are here and there was a better understanding of every day life and it sold four million copies world wide and
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the latest is "super freakonomics." and where suicide bombers should buy life insurance. i'm pleased to have you back and you said wilson was here your favorite at harvard and this is too interesting not to follow up and you said you went in his class and it changed your sense of death. >> he studies evolution and what not and i always feared death, maybe everyone does -- >> you were a college student. >> but something about the class made me not fear death and i was comfortable and he anchored us in the idea that human kind and nature was such an enormous force and the only thing you can hope to have is small impact on the little bit of life around
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you. i don't know why but i came out of thelass with a sense of internal peace and probably the only person who took his class in alls the years who got that. >> i'm wondering what he fears now because once you cross that off the list -- >> charlie: when you started the first book with him, what was it saw in him? >> i saw a lot. he's an unusually creative and curious economists. i wouldn't say you wouldn't know he's an economist if you talk to him but i was working on behavioral economics. it's an interesting topic and i ran across him and a read his papers as if they were a stack of papers to be red and it was among collusion with sumo papers and what you name your first child and whether realtors cheat
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their clients and he tells story empirically and finds data and it was hard to resist. >> charlie: taking off the cover of the book. let's take the last, why suicide bombers should buy life insurance? >> working with a british bank i've been pouring through the records of 10 million customers to see in the every day tran transactions can we find the traces of terrorist activities. >>ike a marketer would pour through data and find who's going to have a baby but instead i'm trying to figure whose going to blowup a bomb and one of the indicators to suggest you're not a bomber is if you buy life insurance. why would you buy it it wder be covered. >> charlie: all of a sudden your sample is dramatically reduced. >> if you're a terrorist should
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buy it becse it would evade me because if guys like me are trying to catch them they have to do things i'm not expecting to get way. >> charlie: what if patriotic prostitutes. >> it turned out their favorite holiday of the year the 4th of july. and the area year looking at washington park where the olympics were going to be in chicago if we were lucky enough was an active area of prostitution and they have big family reunions that come there every summer around the 4th of july and memorial day and enormous numbers come and turns out having coleslaw with their aunt isn't as big and the boom in prostitution isuge and the existing prostitutes come out of the wood work and raise prices and the 4th of july is the favorite holiday so we call them patriotic.
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>> >> charlie: why did to take you four years to come up with another book? >> one, it takes a long time to come up with this material. it's not just journalism and repoing which doesn't take as long gut a hybrid with i a empil analysis and we had a great time on the first book and had no idea it would be successful at yet very successful and we had another opportunity to do another some would like us to do it quicker, a publisher perhaps. but i as a writer and levitt as an economist to write a book that has that broad of an impact we thought was rare and wanted to make it better than the first. >> charlie: how is it different? >> it's different in a few ways. it has beginning, middle and end this time. last one you could pick it up where ever and read it and you still can.
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ther there are robust examples where there's a big problem, may be world wide famine or polio or automobile traffic deaths and people throw up their hands thinking they can't do it without costly interconvenienc this fellow normal borlog who lead the green innovation finding to grow wheat differently can feed millions more and the seat belt was made at ford and he's least known for that. that's probably the theme that runs throughout that we can't have that theme in the first one
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and address topics in this book that are less trivial than the first book. we don't write about sumo wrestlers and baby names though it was fun and write become terrorism and like global warming and we try to bring to those topics a different way of looking at them. an economic approach instead of an emotional level or someone involved in those arenas if you're in the global warming industry you have interesting to protect and an argument to make and we try to look at it from the outside. >> charlie: and not everyone is thrilled what you say about global warming. >> those that aren't thrilled aren't talking about what we said. what we said is not controversial. we're not denying it's gotten warmer it's hard to know why something happened when it did but those not our question. we say if the earth gets too hot or is too hot, what's the best way to cool it down and the conventional wisdom is to reduce
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emissions drastically. that could work. in incredibly expensive and they drive the economy trillions doll dollars and have to get people together and coordinate and even if we could do that because carbon dioxide stays in the air so long we're looking at 50 years, 100 years to start to feel the full effects so if you think global warming is a terrible problem, you need a solution that's faster and more certain or easier to do so turns out geoengineers, extremely controversial but sensible and there are ideas that are cheap and totally reversible. you wouldn't want to do anything that's irreversible and they don't require massive behavior change. not saying we should go out tomorrow and build one of these machines to put sulfur dioxide
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in the atmosphere but how could not that be at bay we're just trying to give geoengineering a seat at the table. >> charlie: this is nathan mirbold. >> absolutely. it's an old idea. eye prize-winning environmentist put it out and has the engineering solution to allow for something like $20 mill to $50 million compared to the other solution why not have it ready as an insurance policy in case a global costly involving is the greenland ice shelf happens and cool it down quickly. >> charlie: explain how it would work. you pour it in the air and it puts a shield. >> the science is based on what mother nay has been doing eons
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when there are volcani volcanic eruptions it goes so high and forms into they haze and reflects like one to two percent of the sunlight and that's enough to cool the other and you will you need to do is have a steffy flow of it and if you can find a way to get up there and build a glorified garden hose. >> one at the north pole and south pole and it sounds like scientific solution and it won't be that hard. >> i don't think paul krugman thought of that. he went off a paper marty weitzman wrote and paul krugman thought he caught us in a mistake and i hate to say it buzz he's wrong and there's so much fervor about the topic. >> charlie: like theology. >> funn funny you say that and
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thing climate activist activist the efforts to stop global warming have a characteristics of a religion there are dogmatic principles and heretics and so on. the interesting thing is geo-engineering is a broad subject. the garden hose to the s i the most frightening to the average person saying you want to intentionally polute though it's replicating a vol cano and some are as green as you would hope to be creating a higher reflectivity and clouds cool the earth and do a great job. they're nature's way of cooling the earth and one plan is to create an incredibly low-friction boats. they don't even have an engine and go around kicking up salt
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spray that wafts in the air and that too is geo-engineering that would cost -- the three could chip in and buy one of those boats. i don't know what you're worth, more than us but it won't be that hard to do but the point is like levett said, to get a seat at the table for these ideas as opposed the one as carbon mitigation as the only route -- seems we should be entertaining other possibilities >> charlie: you say in the book you're more likely to be killed if you're inebriated from walking than driving. what's the relevance of that? >> i mean -- >> charlie: if you're drunk it's very important i guess. >> if you're the parent of a drunk child -- obviously we're saying people should not drive drunk i've done my research that says driving drunk raises your chance of dying 13-fold and
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hardly anybody walks drunk but on a mile by mile bases if have you a choice you're eight times more likely to die walking drunk but even if you take into the account you're more likely to kill other people when driving it's five times the numbers of deaths are five times higher if you walk drunk. it seemed to me if you're a group like maad or saad or mothers against drunk driving you should be interesting in the fact and we're not encouraging people to drive drunk but it brings to the table other risks. >> charlie: now the question is how do you decide what interests you? >> i'm an economists we don't worry where interests come from. >> charlie: you're more likely to die walking if you're drunk than you are driving. why does that interest you? >> i think what's so interesting
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about that question is we all think we understand the issues of drunk driving it's been drummed into us for the last 20 years and how ironic is it that right beside the drunk driving issue there's a drunk walking issue that no one thought of and eight times more dangerous and behind the substancive importance the world not the way the that our mothers told us. >> charlie: is the concrete thinking or -- >> this is much more with the methodology of thinking. this raises your awareness of the fact that the world is maybe not complex but it's different. there are ideas out there and the kind of ideas i love the most are the idea that are completely and utterly obvious when they mention them but until they mention them they would have never occurred to you and i don't know that i have many ideas like that but when other
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people do i love to see them. >> charlie: but could you apply this very creative mind to something a, more interesting or b, more productive. >> well -- i -- if i can do anything that other people find interesting ore that keeps me entertained that's not so bad. >> charlie: four million copies is not bad. >> and people made fun of me, sumo wrestling, and cheating teachers and they made fun but i said i'm trying to hone these techniques because i think i ultimately will get a chance to catch terrorists or something important. >> charlie: do you? >> we have identified30 people of which were our four or five are terrorists and that information is in the hands of m.i.-5 and i'm certain the techniques we're use having power. >> charlie: when you two got together you said to him i know nothing about economics.
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>> i knew more than the average person. i'd been doing research a few years for a different project but the thing that made me realize we can work together and i was working onhe estate tax and i just started talking to him and i said listen, i said i know this has nothing about writing you but i have questions about estate tax and he said you'll have to ask a real economist. >> charlie: what's the difference between him and a real economists. >> we think of macro guys. paul has become a voice really. >> charlie: republican intellectual. >> and that's a different idea where you channel your research and other people's research into advising and trying to move policy. we strive to be as nonpossible and we've had people of every
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quadrant of society hate us. >> charlie: what's the big take away? >> no matter -- our biggest readers -- not our biggest segment but most enthusiastic are teenagers and this answers your question and as you grow up you find most of what you were told is a lie. there are things we want to keep them away from and they start to get 14, 15, 16, here in new york it may happen earlier and understand politicians say one thing and do something entirely different or make a deal and the next day their principles are gone and they realize this world is full of artificial layers of stuff laid over what you want to know and we try to strip away the layers and for certain readers they say i'm not crazy for thinking something going on and not a common conspiracy
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theory but if you can use data and unconventional thinking and to some degree an economic approach and look at incentives and what's happening in the world you can be a more sane person and the things you're worried about all the time you should worry about less. we try to be the opposite of scare amongers and drunk walking is here's one thing people aren't scared of that they should be. >> charlie: like the world is flat is a unified theme for fredeman. >> if you had to pin one is that incentives matter and the world reinvolves around intentives and moral incentives and financial and i define them so broadly zblsh fo >> charlie: for a purpose or what? >> if you give people act in
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self interest and if you tell people they'll be ostracized they'll do something less of that. >> if you give people a tax break you'll be more charitable. this is one of the most charitable in the history of the world. >> charlie: because of the tax break? >> it's an incentive. it's a big incentive so if you make the assumptions about hume in behavior based on what you see in the world -- we talk about organ transplantation. researchers feel they identified altruism as a trait. if it were as innately part of us as we were lead led to believe there won't be thousands of people dying every year because of want of an organ because all thesa these altruis would say i have two have one of mine and there's one people
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where people don't die for want of a kidney in iran and people are compensated for an organ. that's an idea here is repugnant to people we think it could lead to all kinds of bad things and our point is what's worse, having a market to work to save people's lives and people can choose to do something with their body or depending on altruism and seeing thousands die every year because nobody's giving an organ. >> charlie: is this ann randish? >> if it is it's version 3 or 4.0. >> charlie: the law of up i one intended consequences. >> there's so much going on and the world's a complex place and when have you someone clever defining the rules of incentives with thousands and millions of
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people with something at stake keeping on the other side, they almost always figure a way around whatever system you set up so really i think that's what the most powerful idea of one intended againsts is that anyone thinks they can set up a set of rules, thinks they're smarter than the market in some sense usually loses. >> can i give one more example? the efforts to clean up the air in general and get heavy par tic -- particulate and it's now thought that removing the particles from the atmosphere is what's lead to the warming in large part. in other words, carbon dioxide may not be remotely as large a villain fear because becoming good environmeal stewards we cleared the air but the junk was blocking a degree of sun and now
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with the removal of it we've seen more warming and that will be a line of research we'll be hearing of a lot more. >> charlie: the idea is you can take the junk back but you have to put something else backsun. >> it's a big maybe -- look, mervl describes the idea of the garden hose to the sky and when you build a house you do everything you can to not have a fire in the house. you don't give ur kids matches and run around with the lighter but if you have one do you have a sprinkler system, yeah. if the problem gets that bad do you want something to work beyond this carbon mitigation idea. >> charlie: when you wrote the book in the beginning did you have any idea you were onto something in >> the first one? >> charlie: yes. >> no, it was all money. publishers paid us way too much money to write the book and i
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didn't like him very much at the time and he didn't like me. >> charlie: what is it about that. >> he came out to interview me the first time we ever met and my understanding was he was going to stay a couple hours and have lunch and go home and three days later i couldn't get rid of the guy. you were the interviewer but if you've ever been interviewed for 36 hours over three days you get tired. i was so happy to see him go but he created this totally fake persona about me as this incredible problem solver and giving me any problem and i can solve it and people lod it and a got mileage out of it. >> for every problem i try -- every hundred problems i try to solve, three or four get answers that are useful. >> charlie: what are you working on now? >> i've been working on a lot of things. a lot of things in the book have kept me busy and one thing i'm thinking about now is teen violence, is there a way to
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reduce it and a way to improve schools. >> charlie: those are two big ideas. talk first aboutmproving the schools and then teen violence. >> rolan roland fryer spend the three or four years looking into incentives and they work in schools and i've been working now rowland and if you're kids do well in school you pay the parents and can that work applying a different kind of -- >> charlie: a tax break? >> absolutely. financial incentives. it works a little bit and we've tried it. we've had some success. not that much. there's attention to early intervention and we're trying to think about the extent to which we can test some of those ideas. when it comes to violence i'm not sure i have great ideas but the chicago schools have gotten a lot of attention and a lot of
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kids get shot. >> charlie: go through the methodology of approaching a problem. >> i usually look for an a good sogonist experiment where if i were a scientist with a lab working i'd be able to assign rats to a certain group and i can't do that with people. not very well. i don't want students in a lab, i want the real world where policy or quirk leads some people looking idententical and treated differently and my work on abortion and crime and it was during roe v. wade and those
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kids more or less looked the same but the later were exposed to legalized abortion and i could -- >> charlie: was this a controversial thing you did? >> the most controversial and the idea are simple. they're straight forward and the theory's got to be right once you think about unwanted children at risk for crime and legalized abortion reduced crime and it was a question of arguing over the magnitudes and i looked for that variation either krae h creating it myself or finding it and you ask the right questions first and then you look for the variations. >> charlie: talk to me about the asking the right questions and the president believes in that. he's got to be asking the right questions about afghanistan or else he gets answers that aren't relevant. >> people realize in science and social science there's an art to what you do and knowing what the
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right questions to ask is -- who knows where that comes from. that's one of those things you trto do it right and you never quite know. >> i would identify the ability -- i don't mean to pump you up necessarily or generalize this but the ability to ask the right question usually comes from people who do think very differently about a lot of things so i think the fact that you began the interview by asking him about owen wilson and the fact he sat in freshman biology and stopped fearing death, well the kind of mind that stops fearing death frees up some disk space there. you know what i mean? it's true. i think about this academic has it write well because there are brilliant academics, einstein i wish had written well because i'd like to hear from him -- >> charlie: he didn't write well? >> he didn't. and we're devoted to getting
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good at what we're good at and if you decide not to use up your band width on the things that normal people worry about like dying then you might have more time to have your mind go to places that other people's minds wouldn't go to. >> charlie: do you worry about dying? >> hell yeah. >> charlie: you need to go to e.o. wilson's class. >> and there are another thing which is political correctness in the current and academic community there's such an idea of political correctness and so many questions are off the table and i always tried to ask the type of questions so no one is asking so in a way political correctness are my best friend because those are the ones i want to ask. >> we can come up with a high concept answer and it would be mostly be b.s. we don't write the books for policy.
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>> charlie: you write them for -- >> make money. >> that's a byproduct. >> we write because we have a great time doing but in terms of what it's supposed so accomplish i get a thrill -- we have a blog we don't tend with as much care that's book but it's a thrill to take an idea or look at an situation that people haven't thought about in a certain way and present it and just to help pele think differently and to help people depend on a different part of the brain. as a writer i could think of nothing better to do. i'd do this kind of material until i'm dead if i can. >> charlie: do you think there's an equal division of labor here? >> we have a good complimentarities. we do it piece by piece and through and through and our wives are sick of each other. >> charlie: good harmony? >> i guess not.
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you said no and i said yes. >> charlie: this is super freakonomics. thank you. thank you >> thank you very much. >> charlie: malglad is hermal m here and after starting at the washington he moved to the new yorker magazine in 1976 and his blend of analysis and story tell has been emulate and combined pieces into this single volume. this is called what a great title "what the dog saw." i'm pleased to have him here at the table again. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> charlie: the title. >> that's the time of one of my favorite pieces which is a piece i did about cesar milan, the dog whisperer.
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and i started think what cesar sees when he looks at the dog and i thought no, the interesting question is what the dog sees so what the dog saw and -- and i thought -- a lot of the pieces are attempts to look at the world through the eyes of someone who has a privileged position. a privileged knowledge. privileged something. and how differently we see things when we enter through their frame of reference. >> charlie: is there any connection between how you see the world and how theguy from freakonomics sees the world? >> well, anytime i can associate myself with steve levitt i will but he's an economists and i'm more interested in culture so that aside -- >> charlie: but you're interesting in something that has a common denominator. >> i do think -- we're -- there's certainly a mischievious
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element, a lovely mischievious element they try to sometimes seek out as well just to play with our expectations or upend some much our certainties. >> charlie: because people want to duplicate your success they always ask this question, how does the find the story which you finally have told us. >> i try in a forward to the volume to answer the question because i to get it all the time and there is th isn't a neat pa answer but it's about teaching yourself that everything is interesting. because our natural in clination as humans as when we're confront wed try to edit and dismiss things and say i'm not interesting in that and that and as a writer you have to -- partularly if you have to write as many words as i do and have david remnik over your head
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demanding you turn in story after story and have to surrender. >> charlie: all i have to do is show it. >> ask questions and follow-up and if you get trapped to s&p on an airplane you have to resist the impulse to say i don't wan to hear it and say maybe there's a chance -- and i've heard things from in airplanes that perked up my ear and we all have a blind spot about our stories and we don't realize what's interesting about our own lives. it takes an outsider sometimes to see what's beautiful or interesting in someone's life. >> charlie: and i find that people like to tell their stories. >> there's a moment. ones of one of the stories in the collection is about ron popeill the king of the infomercial and there was a point in his kitchen passed all
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the normal topics and starts talking about his childhood and was in an orphanage for a while because they were abandoned by the parents and it was like a juvenile home and the parents would sometimes come and visit on the weekends for the other kids and describes standing up in the hills on the weekends looking off into the distance seeing cars approach and wondering whether it was his father and he never came and it was one of those incredibly heart breaking, chilling moments and you realize that's what you get to after hours with somebody, you know. the little kind of thing and that -- and what to me was about the moment was what the piece is all about in a sense is how a, transcended the incredibly bleak
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childhood he had and more importantly that was the father he had and he emulated it and when i asked about his heroes he said steve wynn and he said my father it. this man who abandoned him. the complexity and richness below the surface. >> charlie: you think your gift is the capacity to hang in there and get the story or the capacity to recognize it and connect it in some important way? >> there was a piece i did about m mammography and bombing and i started because i went to see someone updown at a big hospital. interesting chap. he's chatting to me. sloane keterring. and he's talking about reading a mammogram and it happened to be
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that very moment when right before the gulf war when colin powell was on the hill at the u.n. with the spy satellite photographs of saddam's weapons of mass destruction. >> charlie: supposedly how they were moving the things around. >> exactly. and he's talking away about reading a mammogram and mentioned that and said you know, i have such enormous sympathy and respect for what they do over there because we're in the same business. and i just thought, that's really fascinating, i hadn't thought of it that way but that's what the piece is all about. what it means to look at a picture. the people who have to make sense of them and everyone on the outside thinks once you have a picture the answer is obvious, right, and both struggle with trying to communicate to the public, no, the picture is the source of more illusion and
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heart break and ambiguity and how the piece evolves. it tells the story of the people in intelligence world to make sense of the photograph of bombing sites, what have you and the struggle of mammogramers to make something of the pictures they take of women's breasts which are invitations to ambiguity and raise as many questions as they answer and in both cases there's something had heroic to bring order to this kind mystery that the photographs expose. when you talk to these people in privileged positions which is what i love to do, you always discover some kind of hidden artestry in what they do. you think you understand what a raidolist does for a living and you sit down and talk to him and two hours in and you're
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like, oh, i see and you understand this other layer. they're an artist in some way. >> charlie: ron popeil. he understands the art of the sell because he knows he's selling the product is the star. >> yeah. that story is one of my favorites that kicked off the collection. what was interesting about ron popeil that i hadn't understood from watching his infomercials on late-night tv he comes interest this family, the first family of american television d grandfather was an inventor and his people are the peddlers of appear europe. the wave of jewish immigrants and come and transfer their skills to early 20th century
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america and starting on the board walks of atlanta city and infomercial to the time of television and you place him in the co context and what makes t infomercials work and they work in a way that is unimaginable. they sell product like you wouldn't believe and the same principle that began with the pedaler and when you're walking the product, you're not the story, right. the product is the story. i feel like in the commercials of television commercials of the last to years for 50 years we try to sell the products with the star. michael jordan sold information and you're focussed on him and not the underway and ron
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popeil's get is it's not him but the rotisserie. >> >> >> his passion for the product makes it come alive. here's another interesting thing about this. ketchup. there are 100 varieties of mustard, you think this may be good because it says a fancy european name and this is a variation. there's one ketchup most of us know, heinz 57. why is that? >> i have lunch with dave diamond, highs in the grocery business and starts talking about the fact that many afortune has been lost trying to take on heinz' dominance of the ketchup by and says in every other aisle you see diversity and profusion and 50 kinds of
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salt and he's like you know, why is this? this is ray great mystery all of us in the grocery business struggle with and when you hear that from someone who knows you think what a great story idea. and i wrote this piece on why just heinz. why do they stand alone? >> charlie: why is it? >> heinz ketchup is perfect. it sounds ludicrous and there are sweet, salty, the basic tastes. heinz ketchup is one of the only products in the supermarket has it touches every one of those human tastes. >> charlie: then why couldn't somebody figure out that and
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make the ketchup and make it competitive and a dollar less. >> i con start talking about tomatoes for the rest of the -- >> charlie: because you love tomatoes? >> tomatoes are so highly variable that managing your tomatoes so you have the perfect ratio of solid to liquids consistently batch after batch is hard and only heinz has figured out how to do that and making ketchup is rocket science. maybe it's not as we think it is. >> charlie: do they have a formula like coca-cola. >> have you to go into the fields and manage the varieties and growing seasons and soil. >> charlie: tell us about million-dollar mary. >> million-dollar mary was a
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story i still think of all the time. i was reading an account -- he don't remember why or how of this guy named murray. a homeless guy living in the streets of reno and a couple of comes were friends of him and get in a fight over homeless policy and the cops are upset and people are saying in the community you know, why you guys worried so much about the homeless people. let them be. they're not any trouble and these guys are like no trouble? we spend 60% of our timeealing with the homeless and they march down to the local hospitals and said can you tell us what murray's hospital bill. this guy thas been living on the streets of reno for years. turns out over the course of the previous 12 months murray ran up a bill in the various social services institutions in reno of a million dollars. he's million-dollar murray.
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this man who lives on the streets costs the city because the goes to the emergency room because he's getting double pneumonia every winter and that insight has been ver has been v times over and the hardcore homeless on the streets for years who we ignore and step over cost us infinitely more than the most coveted hypochondriac on the upper east side. >> charlie: and we do -- >> people have come to understand that it costs more to help him than ignore him. you can get him a suite at the plaza and personal assistant for less and that's what cities are starting to do. they're getting homeless people into housing and getting them
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into -- >> charlie: finding structure for their life. >> because it saves money, not principally because of somal truistic motive. >> charlie: and writing these stories, when you start ou do you want to hang out or usually have a question. >> i usually have a question and have something i'm interested in exploring. i have something they want to do. like in the piece in there on choking and panicking. >> charlie: this is a powerful story. go ahead. >> i'm always fascinated by failure. you want to come back -- and >> charlie: this is full of stories of success. go ahead. >> so i wanted to describe the difference between choking and
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panicking. we talk about them all the time and they're really different. i thought, and also what an invitation to immerse yourself in a famous story of failure and one of the stories i told -- i reconstructe reconstructe reconstructedo reconstructed john f. kennedy's crash and we recreated john f. kennedy jr.'s fateful last flight and went into a spiral at dusk on a summer day on the westcoast and we -- we did into the same thing you went to where you lose control of the horizon and your plane is going around round and round and round and faster and faster and you don't realize it's happening to you
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and he pulled out of the spiral dive and he suddenly went oh, my goodness and the g-force hits you. it feels like someone socks you in the stomach and i said how close we were to crashing and he said five seconds. so basically -- i wanted to see -- feel like john f. kennedy jr. felt like in the last few seconds of his life. >> >> charlie: but how did he feel? >> nothing. that's what so fascinating and chilling and you lose control of the horizon in an airplane and go into the spiral dive you don't know you're in a fatal dive and the weird physics of a plane is when it goes into the rotation it feels line it. it feels like normal. it's not. it's hard to describe unless been in the plane. >> charlie: and the difference of choking -- >> that was panicking.
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panicking is when a novice is in a situation that requires expertise and they don't have the expertize. john f. kennedy jr. was over his head. he wasn't experienced. choking is the disease of an expert. when the expert is in a situation where they lose control of their access to the expertise and i did gre norman'selt down on the green. >> charlie: i still don't know how he choek choked with a six- lead. >> if you talk to golf experts and this is the fun. i sat down with the tape and i sat down with people who really know their golf and we went through and shot by shot we went through what happened.
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what happens to -- when you choke is that you -- things that were unconscious and automatic become conscious and deliberate. his expertese and he's not thinking about it any more and he's in this rare world and when the pressure's on he starts to think about things and deliberate about things he's never deliberated on for 25 years on the golf course and he becomes a novice again. what happens when you look at him in the final day on round four in the back nine when he just completely falls apart, what you're seeing is greg norman playing golf the way he did when he was learning the game. >> charlie: the lost his swing and instinctive motion. >> it's shaquille o'neal on the free-throw line.
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same thing. >> charlie: not sure he ever hit good free throws though. >> he's not retreating. >> charlie: that's different. you and -- there's this notion of gladwellian. ands this what i'm interested in. no one does what you do. it's like you are heinz 57. >> well, these are pieces where that i sweated over. they're not -- i don't sit down it and it flows out. the first eight drafts are terrible. >> charlie: that's my point. >> yeah. there's no -- >> charlie: it's a craft. >> it never comes easy what has changed over the years is not the amount of struggle hasn't changed but the struggle's become really fun and the dafts are fun. >> charlie: i enjoy the
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preparation almost as much as end doing it in the end i think the batting practice at the world series is more fun and people say you take batting practice because you envision the one moment in which you were there and it's the bottom of the ninth and have you a chance to win the world series. as a kid that's what you dream of but it's the notion for me and this is the theme. >> the book has many themes. >> charlie: practice, practice, practice, practice and it's studied practice. >> the idea that outsiders always underestimate the amount of work that goes into expertese and what it is about the 10,000 hour rule not that you need to practice to be good but you need to practice that much. who would have said it's ten years of practice to goo get go.
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it's the ten -- the sheer vastness of the preparation and is the -- that's what's amazing to the outsider. that shouldn't be scary or kind of off-put. i think it gives -- it makes me respect and appreciate genius so much more when i know how much preparation goes into it. >> charlie: everyone always has it question when i tell them your story and hand out your book to people saying what does it say about gift and superb talent. >> i remain -- i'm uninterested in that topic. >> charlie: which one? the relation between gift and practice? >> in natural gifts. i know they exist and a thing as natural talent but i feel so what, right, because there are people -- i always think of -- you're a basketball fan. i think of derek coleman.
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i remember chatting with a guy who works with the sixers and he said you have to understand that derek coleman was the most gifted man ever to set foot on a basketball court. you heard a million other names, nobody was a good as derek and who puts derek coleman up there in the pantheon. no one. he didn't want to work. he had bad habit and attitude. so what. give me someone who works hard in the morning and i'll celebrate him. >> charlie: people with you. "what the dog saw and other adventures." malcolm gladwell. thank you. pleasure to see you.
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